updated 07:40 pm EDT, Tue July 5, 2011
Qualcomm Krait roadmap to 2013 outlined
A very detailed roadmap for Qualcomm's future Krait-era Snapdragons has leaked that explains much of the mobile chips' path. The MSM8960 due late this year will be the high end for the end of 2011 and run its dual cores up to 1.7GHz while supporting dual-channel 500MHz memory as well as LTE 4G and 21Mbps HSPA+ for 3G. As seen by MobileTechWorld, the chip and its Adreno 225 graphics would be enough to record 1080p video at full speed and snap 20-megapixel photos in 3D.
An entry level version is coming much later, in summer 2012. The MSM8930 would run at just 1GHz to 1.2GHz and use single-channel memory. It would still support a slightly lower speed of LTE as well as 42Mbps 3G. Although it would have a lower-powered Adreno 305 video core, it could still record 1080p at the same level but would shoot 3D photos at 12 megapixels.
In the very long term, the MSM8974 should be Qualcomm's first quad-core processor. The 2.5GHz top speed was already a known quantity, but it should start off at 2GHz in some versions and use dual-channel 667MHz or even 800MHz low-power DDR3 memory. It will also support a future LTE Category 4 speed and have enough power to capture 1080p movies at 60FPS and 30-megapixel photos. A new Adreno 320 graphics core will be nearly twice as fast as what will be in Krait chips this year.
Modems are being upgraded and will start off this year with MDM9200 and MDM9600 chips that will support 100Mbps LTE and 42Mbps HSPA+ 3G, while the long term MDM9225 and MDM9625 would kick up to 150Mbps LTE and 84Mbps HSPA+.
HTC, LG, and other smartphone and tablet makers using Android are the most likely candidates for Snapdragons. The arrival of Windows 8 may lead to traditional PC builders signing on, however, since they may use Windows 8 for tablets slimmer and longer-lasting than what an Intel Atom would provide.